Pakistan’s consumer price inflation (CPI) surges by 11.1% YoY due to Ramadan

PTI lawmaker slams govt over massive price hike - Daily TimesPakistan’s annual consumer price inflation (CPI) increased to 11.1% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. The data was disclosed by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Saturday and was due to a spike in demand that usually takes place in Ramadan.

In March, The CPI figure stood at 9.1%,

On a month-on-month (MoM) basis, the inflation surged by 1% in April compared to an increase of 0.4% in the month before and a decrease of 0.8% in April 2020.

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The spike in demand for food items consumed in Ramadan led to the increase in the prices of vegetables, fruits, chicken, and meat.

The price of tomatoes grew by 67.70%, while the rates of other vegetables went up by 29.55%.

The PBS statistics also showed an increase of 22.32% in fruit prices, 15.81 percent in the rate of potatoes, and 2.99% in the price of cooking oil.

Traders say the prices of grocery items have observed about a 30% hike during Ramadan due to supply disruptions.

“The demand for food items doubles during the month of Ramadan, which exerts pressure on prices,” said Abdul Rauf Ibrahim, the chairman of the Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association.

“The prices have increased by about 30% as compared to where they stood last year,” he said.

Ibrahim added that prices in the international market had also gone up amid disruption of supply due to COVID-19.

Economists maintain that the government’s policies are responsible for the inflationary pressure in the economy.

“The major reason for the current price hike is the seasonal impact,” Muzzamil Aslam, a senior economist, commented.

“However, the government has also increased inflation by raising electricity rates and increasing the support price of wheat.

Pakistan’s business community says rising inflation has made it difficult for them to maintain cash flows and retain employees.

“The extremely sharp cost-push inflation in recent months has already made it difficult for businessmen to maintain cash flows and retain employees,” Ismail Suttar, president of the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP), said.

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